There might be no country in Hearts of Iron 4 that is in a worse situation than Poland. Stuck between the two greatest powers of the time, Poland will most likely end up partitioned and erased.
If you want to play as Poland in HOI4, you will need a lot of preparation. You will also need to be ready to fail a lot. Luckily, the war starts early for you, and it can end very fast if you didn’t take care of your country properly.
Recommended Read: How to Increase Compliance in Hearts of Iron 4
You don’t have a lot of time until Germany attacks you, so you need to quickly move through that special focus tree and build a powerful military.
In this guide, we will show you how to play as Poland through the Second World War and defeat both Germany and the Soviets, doing a reverse conquest on them.
Table of Contents
- General Strategy for Poland in HOI4
- How to Start as Poland in HOI4
- The Castle Relatively-Historical Strategy for Poland (Singleplayer and Multiplayer)
- The Greater Commonwealth
- Bermontian Commonwealth
General Strategy for Poland in HOI4
When it comes to Poland in HOI4, you usually need to decide if you are willing to completely change history or just accept the horrible situation this country is in.
There is no way to fight both the Soviet Union and Germany as Poland if you go down the historical route.
You will generally have to appease one of these two powers and just fight one, otherwise, you will get decimated.
Luckily, Poland will usually get attacked by the USSR through a justification, and you can beat the system by releasing the territories they are justifying on into puppets.
Poland has these factories at the start of HOI4 in 1936:
- Civilian Factories: 17 (only 7 available)
- Military Factories: 9
- Naval Dockyards: 0
This is really bad, and you won’t have a chance if the war starts early. Luckily, there are a lot of focuses that will boost your total factories to over 50.
When it comes to the military, Poland starts with a relatively big army compared to other minor powers in the game.
With 40 divisions, Poland has enough troops to conquer any of its smaller neighbors with ease. However, you will need at least double that to survive the German war machine.
On the naval front, you should just give up from the start. You will not defeat anyone on the seas, and you shouldn’t even waste time thinking about it.
Air will generally be important in the sense that you will need a lot of Fighters to intercept German planes. You won’t really need to use them to advance. You will need them to keep the German CAS to a limited number.
Now, here are the best strategies you can use for Poland in HOI4:
- The Castle (Historical Route)
- The Greater Commonwealth
- Bermontian Commonwealth
How to Start as Poland in HOI4
Even though we recommend 3 different routes for Poland in HOI4, the start will generally be the same since you need to deal with the Looming Peasant’s Strike National Spirit.
We will first start by taking the Clamp Down on Danzig focus to start getting the factories and Manpower there for ourselves.
The extra Political Power is also very useful, considering you won’t make any points at the start.
After this, the most important thing will be getting the Agrarian Reform on the left side of the focus tree before the Peasant’s Strike happens.
We don’t need to rush it since we have around a year to start that focus. When you start the Agrarian Reform focus, you also get 70 extra days until the strike, so you can pick the focus when you are close to the limit.
The actual first two focuses that you should pick after the Danzig focus are The Four Year Plan and then Polish School of Mathematics, both situated on the left side of the focus tree.
An extra research slot will make a huge difference, and you should get it as early as possible.
If you don’t like stressful situations, you can now take the Fill the Railway Gaps focus and then the Agrarian Reform to get rid of the coming strike.
However, if you want to use the remaining time, first get the Central Region Strategy, and The New Polish Industry focuses before those two.
After the Agrarian Reform, you can start changing things politically in the country and going down one of the three paths we’ll explain below.
While you were going for the Agrarian Reform, you also should have majorly increased Compliance in Danzig.
If you did, you should now quickly rush Ban the Nazi Party and Integrate Gdansk Industries since these focuses will change your economy to Export Focus and allow you to purchase weapons instead of having to make them yourself.
When it comes to Construction, you should use the start of the game to build Civilian Factories and Synthetic Refineries to help with the motorization effort.
At the start, it might be a good idea to first concentrate on building the Intelligence Agency up to two operatives and then finally concentrate on the economy of the country.
You should first build a Refinery to avoid using civs for your Trucks and Planes and only build Civilian Factories until 1938.
The moment the year ends and you enter 1938, start either building only Military Factories and whatever you might need or a combination where you use secondary factories to increase potential Civilian Factories potential.
When it comes to Production, you will mainly have to make Infantry Equipment, Support Equipment, Artillery, and enough Fighters to fill the already existing Air Wings.
Once you get a bit more Military Factories, you can also start making Anti-Air and Anti-Tanks.
Since you’ll mainly concentrate on defense, you won’t need anything else for now.
Later, we might need to invest in Trucks to prepare for a potential invasion. But, until then, infantry with artillery and support is the way to go.
Right at the start, all you can do is set up your army to train and help you get Army Experience. Once you finish the Danzig focus, you should have enough Political Power to appoint the Defense Chief of Army and get passive Army Experience for the rest of the game.
You will need a lot of experience since you will play around with division templates and get a lot of doctrines to survive the coming war.
Our main focus will be defense, so using big infantry divisions with a lot of artillery and full support companies is the way to go.
If you want to see some extremely efficient defensive divisions, you can check this guide on the best division templates for HOI4, which will work great for Poland.
The Castle Relatively-Historical Strategy for Poland (Singleplayer and Multiplayer)
The beauty of the classic historically accurate path for Poland is that you can get the advantages of most of the other paths while remaining true to the historical route.
The first thing you will need to do is rush The Castle focus since this makes sure that you will have Non-Aligned influence increase.
After this, you will have to get either The Left Chairman or Second Man of State focus to get the Maintain Dictatorship focus and advance.
However, the moment you complete the dictatorship focus, you will lose out on some good, quick focuses.
So, we recommend getting these focuses in the exact order listed:
- The Sanation Right
- The Sanation Left
- The Legion of Merit
- Support Right-Wing Paramilitarism
- The Left Chairman
- Maintain Dictatorship
Doing this will get you incredible bonuses and the right advisors, while also avoiding civil war. You will likely only have to use the decision to Sideline one of them only once.
Using the order from above, we only had to sideline the Right once, after we finished The Left Chairman focus.
Going down these focuses should bring stability and bonuses that will be useful in the coming war.
The Sanation Right focus will be especially useful since you can now get Edward as Theorist, giving you both Army Experience and Doctrine discounts.
At this point, you won’t really have a lot of time to prepare for the war with Germany.
You should aim to have at least 4 armies of 24 divisions, to keep your western border safe and push the Germans out of Konigsberg.
You can also try to build some forts along the western border with them.
Your main mission will be to quickly push them outside of the northern part of the country and keep the western line safe.
After you manage to kick them out of Konigsberg, you will just have to sit and keep the front safe, while avoiding the war with the USSR.
The moment Germany starts attacking you, the USSR will start justifying war against you using one of the states on the border.
Check exactly which state they are justifying on and liberate either Ukraine or Belarus, depending on what territory the Soviets are justifying for.
Try to release the country as a puppet as late as possible. Usually, it will take around 300 days for the Soviets to justify against you for, let’s say, Wolyn.
If this happens, wait until they have around 1 or 2 weeks to finish and release Ukraine as a puppet.
They will then start justifying again for a different territory, likely to the north. This means that you can free Belarus when you get close to the justify war goal end date.
This will be your main entertainment while keeping the German front secure since you can just wait for them to lose millions in Manpower and hope that the Allies do something interesting.
If you have enough patience, you should be able to defeat the Germans, annex your puppets, and then defeat the Soviets as well.
The Greater Commonwealth
The Greater Commonwealth path will see that you have the largest amount of cores possible as Poland in HOI4. This time, we will have to become a monarchy, with the Commonwealth Claimant in power.
Starting right after assimilating Danzig, players will have to take the following focuses to reach the promised land:
- Assemble the Regency Council
- Fulfill the 5th of November Act
- The Commonwealth Claimant (Elect King Friedrich)
- Restoration of the Royal Sejm
- Support Monarchism in Lithuania
- Establish Royal Guards
- The Kingdom of Lithuania
- Arm Monarchist Militants
- Restore the Commonwealth
- Claim Livonia
- Seize East Prussia
- Claim Greater Lithuania
- The Greater Commonwealth
The problem with this path is that you will get the territories of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia before Germany can attack you, which just creates a really long frontline with the Soviet Union.
Since there is no way you can defend such a frontline with the USSR and also fight Germany, we will have to make some concessions.
When Germany asks for both Memel and Danzig, we will have to give them. There is no other way to win this long-term war for Poland.
Once you make sure that Germany won’t partition you with the Soviet Union, prepare for a very hard war with the Communists.
Winning the War
Since you only have one enemy to defeat, which will attack you nonstop, thinking you are weak, Poland can easily win the war with the USSR.
As long as you have forts all along the border with them (around level 4 should be enough), defending the frontline shouldn’t be a problem.
Once they lose most of their equipment and a ton of Manpower, just push them back and annex them. After you’ve dealt with the Soviets, you can come back for revenge against Germany, using the cores as a reason to attack.
Once you manage to conquer Ermland-Masuren and Konigsberg (northern part of Poland), along with Hinterpommen, Ostmark, Niederschlesien, and Oberschlesien (eastern part of Germany that is in the present part of Poland), you can complete the Greater Commonwealth focus and gain cores on all of these territories and a huge chunk of western Russia.
At this point, your Manpower pool will be one of the highest in the world, big enough to compare to the Chinese and Russians.
This is why defeating Germany and the USSR is only the start for the Greater Commonwealth since you have the power now to defeat the Allies as well.
If you’ve ever wondered if Cavalry can be useful in HOI4, then the Bermontian Commonwealth path for Poland is the right way for you.
This route is similar to the Greater Commonwealth in the idea that you will be a monarchy, but you will put the Cossacks in power.
The Bermontian Commonwealth is actually the most interesting path you can take for Poland in HOI4 since you will play as a Fascist that uses mostly Cavalry.
Since you will be Fascist, you will have the opportunity to defeat most of Eastern Europe before Germany and the USSR can say anything about it.
You can conquer Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Czechoslovakia using the focus tree, and then you can justify war to puppet Romania, Yugoslavia, and Hungary.
This would be the best course of action since, this way, you won’t ever get attacked from the south. You can also attack Germany before 1939, when they are at their strongest, since you had time to unite a huge chunk of Europe.
As long as you know how to build the most powerful Cavalry division templates in HOI4, then you should have no problem taking over all of Europe using the most overpowered country buffs for Cavalry.
That’s everything you need to know about how to win WW2 as Poland in Hearts of Iron 4!
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